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Pro LINQ: Language Integrated Query in C# 2008 Paperback – Aug 6 2008
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About the Author
Joseph C. Rattz, Jr., unknowingly began his career in software development in 1990 when a friend asked him for assistance writing an ANSI text editor named ANSI Master for the Commodore Amiga. A hangman game (the Gallows) soon followed. From these compiled BASIC programs, he moved on to programming in C for more speed and power. Joe then developed applications that were sold to JumpDisk, an Amiga disk magazine, as well as Amiga World magazine. Due to developing in a small town on a fairly isolated platform, Joe learned all the wrong ways to write code. It was while trying to upgrade his poorly written applications that he gained respect for the importance of easily maintainable code. It was love at first sight when Joe spotted a source-level debugger in use for the first time. Two years later, Joe obtained his first software development opportunity at Policy Management Systems Corporation as an entry level programmer developing a client/server insurance application for OS/2 and Presentation Manager. Through the years, he added C++, Unix, Java, ASP, ASP.NET, C#, HTML, DHTML, and XML to his skill set, while developing applications for SCT, DocuCorp, IBM, and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, CheckFree, NCR, EDS, Delta Technology, Radiant Systems, and the Genuine Parts Company. Joe enjoys the creative aspects of user interface design, and he appreciates the discipline necessary for server-side development. But, given his druthers, his favorite development pastime is debugging code. Joe can be found working for the Genuine Parts Company the parent company of NAPA in the Automotive Parts Group Information Systems department, where he works on his baby, the storefront web site. This site for NAPA provides the stores a view into their accounts and data on a network of AS/400s.
Top Customer Reviews
LINQ to objects
LINQ to XML
LINQ to Datasets
LINQ to SQL
The book is well written and gets straight to the task of teaching and explaining LINQ. There's no extraneous padding on beginner level topics such as explaining C# (again), ADO (again), Enumerators (again) etc as so often happens.
By the end of the book I'd got LINQ nailed and have begun to use it proficiently and efficiently.
If you only buy one book on LINQ this year, then this is the one.
The goal of the author was to start with code and end with code and he managed to do it. It wasn't just simple examples, sometimes they were very advanced, and he explained them very well.
I loved everything about this book and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn LINQ, and everyone should. So, what are you waiting for? Go get this book!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Overall I found this to be a very good book but it has a few flaws. If like me you are interested in LINQ for a current or upcoming database project here is what I would suggest. First don't start with this book, finish with it. Start with the ten excellent screencasts by Mike Taulty. Then read this book. Your reading will go much faster and you'll get a satisfyingly sated feeling. The author will probably hate me for saying this, but if you already know SQL or ADO.NET 2.0, I would suggest reading Chapters 1-3, then skim 4 and 5 just to get an overview of the operators available. Then read part 5 (Chapters 12-18) on LINQ to SQL. After you digest that I would suggest whichever topics interest you the most, then I would finish with a more thorough read of Chapters 4 and 5 on Deferred and Nondeffered operators, which in my mind are really a thoroughly documented reference section.
The reason the author will hate that, is he doesn't want readers to use LINQ for just database purposes, and he states that many times in the book. In fact, I think that is why he put the LINQ to SQL section at the end. However, he seems to have made a significant effort to make any part readable on its own, so I see no problem with skipping to the end so early.
The book doesn't really cover data binding, but there is a lot of good information on that available on the internet (the above mentioned screencasts show some of them, and an overly long video on Channel 9 with Young Joo from August 2007 shows even more).
I also have a few nit-picky things that drove me crazy. The most significant one being the amount of repetition and unedited console output. I was also none too happy that the author didn't mention that the Visual Studio Command prompt was under the START menu not an IDE menu. But then again without the author I wouldn't even have known there was a Visual Studio 2008 command prompt.
The weakest part of the book is the index, it is downright anemic. In the several weeks since I've finised the book the index has NEVER helped me find things I remember reading. If you find items of interest you better pencil them into the back cover if you want to find them again later. If one book ever needed a free PDF, this one is it, but they charge $10 for it. Maybe that is why they made the index so bad, to encourage you to fork over another $10.
That said, I also found a good half-dozen or so gems in the book that saved me significant time. Now I could tell you what those are but I think you should buy the book to find out.
The book covers every feature of Linq in great detail, but one of my favorite parts of the book is chapter on the C# 3.0 Language features and other parts of the book that show how to take advantage of the Linq language features in everyday application code.
The author goes into great detail in every part of the of the book. The author also has a great companion site that is being updated with the latest new features coming out, like LINQ to XSD.
The accompanying code is very usable and well organized.
The only thing lacking would not be a legitimate complaint, since the authors claim code level detail and not architectural level guidance, but I will mention it anyway. I would have like to have seen more guidance on architecture and how Linq fits into the big picture. That is not covered, but like I said, they didn't claim to, so I can't ding them. The point of the comment.... 2nd edition ...hint, hint.....
If you want to get into the guts of Linq, this book is definitely for you. I highly recommend it for every .NET 3.5 programmer.
Upon further research I discovered that LINQ is actually quite a bit more than just "another ORM", in fact, I would say it is one of the more interesting things from Microsoft lately.
The book Pro LINQ does a very good job of covering this new technology, and it does so in a way that you would expect for a "Professional" level book.
For example, I found it immediately appealing that Chapter 1 starts with a code example before ever getting to any regular text. The rest of the book follows suit. There are plenty of explanations, but sometimes seeing the code & result provides the clearest view.
The author does a good job of explaining the technology in detail, why it is useful, and very practical tips on how to make the most of it. The book covers using LINQ to query Objects, XML, DataSets and finally SQL.
I have used the book as an introduction to the topic, and for that it has done an excellent job. It appears that the book is comprehensive enough to also serve as a working reference book, but I have not personally had the chance to use it as such yet.
I've spent a fair amount of time researching LINQ and even played with it somewhat. This book would be great for those who at least know the basics of LINQ and what its purpose is. I honestly can't think of a topic about LINQ that was not addressed in some detail in this book. The writing was complete with lots of examples to illustrate the points. An earlier reviewer has said they "stopped at chapter 4" because of the lack of detailed query language syntax descriptions BUT I don't understand because there is an exhaustive definition of the language in chapter 2. I think their 1 star review was unfair and borderline malicious.
Until something comes along better, this would be my pick for the best LINQ book on the market.